Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Education Category

Learn English! The Vicious Idiocy of David Cameron

  • January 20, 2016
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I have to admit that when I hear the word ‘integration’  coming from politicians  nowadays, it makes me want to reach for my revolver.   By integration, I don’t mean the term that British Home Secretary Roy Jenkins famously defined back in 1966 when he said:

‘ Integration is perhaps a loose word. I do not regard it as meaning the loss, by immigrants, of their own characteristics and culture. I do not think we need in this country a “melting pot”, which will turn everybody out in a common mould, as one would...

Ofsted: Gove’s Trojan Horse

  • June 11, 2014
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For some time now it has been clear that Ofsted functions as the political instrument of central government.   Until recently this instrumentalization was mostly manifest in general terms; for governments intent on scapegoating teachers for the many failings of British society, Ofsted’s inquisitorial inspection system constituted a useful blunt instrument for intimidating and bullying...

Three Cheers for Jess Green

  • April 07, 2014
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Anybody who is or has been a teacher in the UK, or is living or married to one, will recognize the reality depicted in Jess Green’s searing and witty indictment of Michael Gove that is currently picking up thousands of hits on Youtube:

And anyone who cares about the future of the country’s education system should...

Richard Levin’s Awfully Big Corporate Adventure

  • March 25, 2014
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One of the small mysteries that has always intrigued me about Tony Blair’s dizzying transformation into a global moneymaking machine, was his teaching role at Yale University.   In September 2008 Blair taught his first class at Yale as part of a three-year collaboration between the Yale School of Divinity and the Tony Blair Faith...

The Rings of the Gove

  • May 13, 2013
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Even amongst the reactionary gargoyles in Lord Snooty’s cabinet, Michael Gove is truly a piece of work.     Ever since he wrote his banal neocon screed Celsius 7/7, Gove has presented himself – and unfortunately been accepted in certain circles – as some kind of deep thinker.

The New Statesman loves him for his charm...

Michael Gove: Failure is an Opportunity

  • August 25, 2012
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Downstairs on the living room table, the envelope containing my daughter’s GCSE results sits unopened, awaiting her return from Edinburgh later today.   We have resisted the temptation to fling ourselves upon it – or steam it open and take a surreptitious preview – because an agreement is an agreement.

As the moment draws near however,...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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